Sustainable public procurement

Certification Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement

Sustainable public procurement

22 April–31 May 2024
The course is available in English, Français

This professional certification programme is part of the Diploma in public procurement management 


***A limited number of partial fellowships is available for this course to participants with a proven interest in the topic. 

Please inquire at least four weeks before the commencement’s date to get the opportunity to attend a Certification Programme organized by ITCILO***

Introduction to the course

In approaching sustainable public procurement, is there a conflict between economic development, on the one hand, and social inclusion and environmental protection, on the other? Would you like to acquire competence in integrating sustainability into procurement policy and operations, and be able to handle internationally harmonized tools and approaches to showcase and impact ? How, in particular, can Life Cycle Costing help, and how can externalities affect results-based procurement? Is the current international crisis a barrier or an opportunity for SPP development? This online, tutor-based certification programme - a joint effort between UN Environment and the ITCILO - provides comprehensive answers and ideas on how to use the potential of procurement for the achievement of sustainable development objectives, with many practical examples.

Who attends this course?

National and international public procurement practitioners; procurement staff of national agencies; project directors and procurement staff of projects funded by international financial institutions (World Bank, Asian, African, Islamic and European development banks, etc.); United Nations and NGO personnel; other officers involved at a more strategic/policy level within the procurement structures of international development institutions and national government entities.

Prove your skills with a Diploma

This course is part of one Diploma programme:


Aiming at filling the knowledge gap in the sustainability domain this online training course designed by the ITC-ILO and UNEP explores the key concepts of sustainable procurement and explains how they can be applied to better leverage the potential of procurement for the achievement of sustainable development objectives. 

The course also demonstrates the need for countries and local governments for sound sustainable public procurement policies in line with the requirement of SDG 12.7. It presents the UNEP methodology for the development of SPP policies, rolled out in over 20 countries since 2009.

Finally, the online training course will present an overview of sustainable procurement policies, regulatory frameworks and best practices which could inspire and guide decision makers and practitioners.



The objective of this workshop is to contribute to improving the capacity of decision makers and practitioners in the conceptualization and implementation of environmental and social considerations in procurement operations and in managing the contracts, in line with internationally accepted principles and practices


What certification will I get as successful candidate?
  • You will obtain a certificate of achievement once you have completed successfully the programme requirements.
  • This certificate will demonstrate that you possess the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to plan and execute the entire procurement process.
  • This certificate could be a first brick to build your future ITCILO Diploma in Procurement Management!


Why should I join?

This course is delivered through distance learning and deployed on the ITCILO e-campus. It frees you from the classroom and gives you the flexibility to complete the learning modules at your own pace.




Module 1 Introduction

  • The environmental and social challenges. The 2030 development agenda
  • Introduction to SPP – Goals and benefits, Definition, Historical overview and current context
  • Methodology for assessing SPP readiness and implementation ( MAPS)
  • Integrating SPP at the level of organization
  • Global overview of SPP implementation ( UNGM, MDBs, EU, selected Countries’ examples) and SDG 12.7.1 results


Modules 2 The development of SPP policies

  • The UNEP SPP Approach
  • Legal and Market readiness studies
  • Prioritization of products and services
  • Action Plan
  • Policy implementation and monitoring


Module 3 The environmental dimension of SPP policies

  • International agreements and challenges (climate change, circular economy, biodiversity, etc.)
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production and ecolabelling policies
  • Sectoral policies: energy, waste, etc.


Module 4 The social dimension of SPP policies

  • Human rights at stake in procurement operations and supply chain
  • The ILO core conventions and rights tackled through procurement 
  • Advancing decent work through sustainable public procurement
  • Procurement as a tool to achieving balanced Gender, Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Safety and health into procurement operations


Module 5 Integrating SPP into the procurement cycle

  • Market readiness and contract strategy design
  • Tech specs and reference to labels
  • Suppliers qualification
  • Tender evaluation, including using Life Cycle Costing
  • Contract management
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Digital decision tools for Sustainable Procurement


Module 6 Sustainable procurement in Practice: selected case studies


Learning hours: 60 hours – 6 weeks

Delivery modality: On-line self-learning; tutor based; weekly WebEx; weekly assignments and knowledge test and final test

Questions? We have the answers